In a recent quality management class, group discussion centered on frustration in the workplace resulting from lack of appropriate employee recognition. Several people recounted how disappointing it was to go “above and beyond” only to find there was little appreciation for what was accomplished.
Even in a normal year, achieving high levels of quality is no small feat; it's a daily challenge that requires buy-in from everyone. This year, as COVID-19 wreaked havoc on supply chains, worker safety and consumer demand, maintaining high levels of quality became a nearly superhuman feat.
If you’re going to talk about zero defects, you must put the conversation into context.
January 11, 2021
The pursuit of zero defects revolves around a defined mindset. You set up a direction to focus your employees. And when everyone is thinking about it and striving to make it happen, that focus enables breakthrough improvements to happen.
Back in the day when attending live, face-to-face conferences was “a thing,” I always looked forward to the breaks when I could join my peers around that long, huge table put out by the hotel offering a variety of Danishes, fruit, and of course, coffee.
At first glance, you might think I’m losing it with the title of this month’s rant. After all, who would pay anything for ‘zero’ or nothing? It turns out a lot of people try to get ‘nothing’ or ‘zero’ and end up with more than they bargained for at a very high cost to get there.
If anyone has been in quality for some time, they have probably encountered managers who have painful connections to quality. It is likely that some managers would describe their experience as overwhelmingly negative. Some of these people extend these feeling into anything having to do with quality.
Mastering quality requires a multi-pronged approach to your manufacturing line. Perhaps this means setting better notifications for problems, using spaghetti diagrams or just monitoring workflow more closely.
In a recent gathering of quality professionals, the subject of unsuccessful change implementation surfaced. Most people understand change is necessary for survival, but in this era it is happening at an unprecedented, almost vertical rate. The bottom line though is that change is uncomfortable for most and it is common for people to resist change.